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Composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art, as distinct from the subject of a work. It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of art.

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Aside from sharpness & speed, what are the benefits to photo composition\optical quality provided by premium lenses over their cheaper counterpart?

I have gone through quite a few lens reviews and questions on this site that recommend expensive lenses over their cheaper counterparts. From what I've seen in the reviews, there is a marked ...
9
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4answers
1k views

How do quirks of the human vision system affect photography?

When looking out at the world through our eyes, it's easy to take for granted that our perceptions are an absolute rendering of How Things Are. But in fact, it's not quite as simple as that. Most of ...
9
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8answers
499 views

How do I get myself to think about every shot using modern digital equipment?

In today's age of fully automated digital cameras, I find it difficult to seriously think about every picture I take before I press the shutter button. The experience is, from what I can tell, ...
9
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6answers
2k views

What should I consider for cropping aspect ratios?

The question What things should one take into account when looking at cropping a photo? asks about factors that affect composition during cropping. I'm interested in a very specific sub-set of this, ...
9
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3answers
627 views

Still-life reconstruction considered plagiarism?

I am really bad at still lifes. That is, I never even attempted making one. So I decided to try and make a photo of freshly baked bread. I stumbled across a few amazing shots on the Internet which I ...
9
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3answers
432 views

How to capture fog movement?

As much as I enjoy pictures of fog or mist, I find that I can't express its movement. I'd like to capture the sort of dance that fog performs with other objects. The way it moves and surrounds ...
8
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8answers
496 views

In which scenarios does it make sense to have the subject look straight into the camera?

I have often seen many people write critiques such as - Subject is not looking in the camera so I don't feel connected! on photos where the subject is not engaged in some particular activity ...
8
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4answers
862 views

Which is better - autofocus and recompose vs. manual focus?

In some occasions autofocus doesn't focus what I intend it to. What is the better option - to use autofocus, focus what I want and recompose, or use manual focus in that situation?
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4answers
1k views

Is it better for a beginner to start with black and white photography?

I'm quite a beginner in photography with no real experience in visual art. I became interested in it about 10 months ago. I inferred from the literature to avoid color photography for 2 to 3 years, ...
8
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3answers
2k views

What is the impact of high, low, or eye-level point of view in composition?

Of course there aren't any fixed rules in photography, but since part of photography is about sharing one's viewpoint, I'd like to hear how experienced photographers choose this key aspect of ...
8
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2answers
739 views

What and how to crop?

When I take a photo of something like a building, I tend to shoot the whole building, because later I want to get the feeling and impression I had when I took this photo. I want to transfer these ...
8
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1answer
744 views

What is diagonal dominance?

In another question, rule of Diagonal Dominance was mentioned. I had never heard of such rule, so I'd like to know... What is rule of diagonal dominance about? How to apply it in photography? When ...
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4answers
270 views

How can I compose shots with tall buildings without boring sky dominating the image?

How to compose/frame shots with tall buildings without "just" sky? For example, Space Needle, Eiffel Tower, Hoover Building ... Most of my attempts result in lots of pixels of boring sky. Here is ...
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7answers
589 views

Is technical perfection necessary for an artistically awe-inspiring photograph?

What is your feeling in front of an awe-inspiring photograph (with really good composition, light, color, depth of field, etc.) but with unsatisfactory technical qualities (for example: JPEG ...
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8answers
3k views

If viewers don't respond to the rule of thirds, why do some photographers still emphasize it?

Previous posts (1, 2) explain the concept of the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio. Some previous answers state that the Rule of Thirds is the Golden Ratio, but that is not true. The two are ...
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3answers
228 views

Subject alongside, at the intersection or inside lines in composition rules?

I have been reading different articles on photo composition. These discuss rules of thirds, triangles, and golden ratio, each suggesting different and contradicting approaches. Some of them say to ...
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2answers
689 views

How can I make my beach shots more interesting?

I like to visit beaches on my vacation, so I always come back with shots of the shore and sand. They always turn out quite boring, and I'm not sure what they are missing generally speaking to really ...
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3answers
845 views

Do Left and Right matter in how the photo is perceived?

Usually, when composing I choose if placing the subject on one side or the other depending on the subject itself, the background or other subjective or practical reasons. But abstracting out from ...
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2answers
742 views

Are there guidelines for using “Dutch angles”?

Some authors such as this and this suggest tilting the camera so that the horizon is not level, presumably adding interest to a photograph. Are there any guidelines for a beginner like me on when to ...
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6answers
863 views

How was this high-gloss achieved when taking photos of skyscrapers?

I found this picture in my folders (not sure where it originally came from but (C) Daniel Groszek ). How were the colours achieved here obtained? It looks like a black and white photo, plus blue ...
6
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4answers
638 views

How do I compose photos with prime lenses?

I own a Sony NEX-5R, with two prime lenses: 19mm F2.8 Sigma, and 35mm F1.8 Sony. How do I best compose photos with prime lenses like these? I can think of a few: Walk towards or away from the ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What is a point of interest in a photograph and where is it lacking in this candle picture?

I've been told that this picture has no point of interest. Does this mean that there are too many elements in focus here? I would like to understand the meaning and the reasons behind it and how to ...
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5answers
565 views

Does a centered object get attention?

When I showed this photo to my friend he mentioned that the flower in the center of the photo got his attention. Although I placed it in the center of the photo, I believe that it's not the only main ...
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4answers
915 views

My attention gets repeatedly distracted by the elements needed for the context in this picture. Where am I going wrong?

I am posting this photo as example but I suggest the answerers to remain generalized. I took this photo yesterday. Intension was to show the bonding between the father and the daughter as well as the ...
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3answers
2k views

When taking a picture, where should the horizon be?

I know and understand the rule of thirds, but I would like to know, when taking a picture of something such as a tree, should the horizon be positioned on the top or bottom third line?
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4answers
381 views

Incorporating haze into landscapes

When shooting landscapes in Western India, I often have a serious problem with haze. The air can often be dusty outside cities and polluted inside. Shooting in the golden hour doesn't always help ...
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4answers
1k views

What is the proper composition when shooting two persons standing by each another?

EDITED When shooting a photo with two persons in the foreground and an out of focus/blurred background (no objects apart of the couple), what is the proper composition to place them? EDITED I made ...
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4answers
601 views

Stepping up my lighting for lego photography

I find lot of fun shooting pictures of toys, especially Lego bricks. To light my scenes, I'm using one or more of those elements : Natural light Canon 430 EX II Small torch LEDs torch Here is a ...
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1answer
670 views

What style of composition for food photography triggers people's appetite?

What kind of style and position triggers more the appetite of people? What are the best ways to position food and combine with other objects? What kind of objects are better combined with food? Does ...
6
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1answer
207 views

Advice on shooting a magazine centerfold [closed]

Although, I shoot a lot of events, sports, and travel photography (fast pace photography as I call it), I just got my first "high glossy" magazine gig. It will be to shoot a subject in the foreground ...
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1answer
642 views

What are the “Distance Setting Marks” for use in storytelling composition?

I am reading Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson, to learn some bits and tricks about photography. I came across one line "You would first choose to set your aperture to f/22 and than align the ...
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5answers
520 views

How should I position my camera to emphasize the foreground using a wide/ultra-wide angle lens?

I have seen plenty of landscape shots online and in books that have enthralling foreground and awesome background. At many places, I have read to get close to the foreground. I understand that, ...
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8answers
747 views

How to *make* a nature photograph?

I found this scene to be quite beautiful for sure, but when I look at it from the photographer's view point, I find that that person just went there, saw the scene, clicked the photo and returned ...
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6answers
2k views

In what situations should I use which lenses while traveling to Paris?

I'll be travelling to Paris and I'll be bringing me with a Canon T2i/550D, a Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3,5-5,6 IS and a Tokina 11-16mm f/2,8 (I could also bring a Canon EF 50mm f/1,8 II). I bought the ...
5
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3answers
636 views

Taking sports and action shots with regular lenses

I do not shoot action or sports photos. I was asked to shoot a friend's soccer game. I am not looking for perfect magazine quality images; however, I'd like to maximize the quality of my shots with ...
5
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5answers
506 views

How to shoot for wide website hero image?

I'm an in-house web developer who is in charge of the technical aspect of a companies website. I have also dabbled in photography in the past, so I do have some photography knowledge. I am also the ...
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4answers
203 views

When can cropping off a part or including the whole subject's body be considered a distraction?

Basically the question is that when am I free to chop off the subject's body part and when I am not? These photos are taken by me. Can you see the chopped body parts here? I wish to understand the ...
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3answers
333 views

How can I make a picture like this one of a bridge in green landscape seem less plain?

Recently I have taken a photo of this bridge in Japan with my NEX-6. At first I thought it's an okay photo until I showed it to one of my friend and she said it looks plain. How can this photo be ...
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2answers
2k views

What is one (single) point perspective photography?

Single point perspective is a technique used in drawing. Using one perspective, parallel lines converge to one point somewhere in the distance. This point is called the vanishing point (VP). This ...
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3answers
185 views

How can I compose city / cityscape shots to avoid distracting elements?

Too many of my travel photos look like this. The subject of the photo is obviously the church, but the random people and cars around it are quite annoying. The traffic light in front of the mosaic is ...
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2answers
286 views

How do I take advantage of a tablet to compose better photos?

I find that tablets have one big advantage over other kinds of cameras: phones, point-and-shoots, and interchangeable lens cameras (like the NEX-5R, which I own). And that advantage is the size of ...
5
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3answers
758 views

What is the best way to accurately position camera parallel to subject?

I'm having a hard time getting my lens to perfectly align parallel to the subject. This is very important when photographing subjects such as buildings or interiors. Do I just need to practice seeing ...
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2answers
196 views

Is cropping out someone's ear a no-no in a portrait?

I know limbs have their compositional rules. I'm working on a self-portrait where I'm contemplatively looking left. To emphasize the effect, I want to crop my right ear off (hey, no Van Gough jokes!). ...
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1answer
742 views

How do triangles work as a tool for composition?

I've heard that triangles can be used as a tool in composition. Why would I pay attention to triangles, or structure an image around this shape? What particular significance do triangles have, ...
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1answer
131 views

Is there a rule for something like “footroom”?

I'm familiar with headroom concept. Is there rule of thumb for "footroom" (how much space to leave beneath the subject)? I suppose the answer may differ depend on shooting style/purpose, so I limit ...
4
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2answers
630 views

Why are the Curiosity pictures shown tilted?

This one is the last photo that the Mars rover took this week: Why is the picture shown tilted? Why doesn't NASA rotate it and show it in the correct angle?
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7answers
418 views

How to show happiness in a playground without any human presence?

I don't have any humans to pose. I have a playground with a swing which rotates to and fro. I also have children's toys and clothes and shoes. I wish to create a scene which shows that a child "was" ...
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3answers
665 views

Why would one recompose after setting exposure?

I am reading Bryan Peterson's book Understanding Exposure. Quoting text from the book: I set up my camera and 75-300mm lens on a tripod. I set my focal length to 130mm and aperture to f/32 and ...
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6answers
1k views

Rule of thirds — is there any scientific proof behind it?

I learned about rule of thirds only recently, and it excited me a lot, and it seems to apply to a lot of situations. But my question is why does it make pictures look more appealing? Does it have ...
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6answers
795 views

When do you center your subject in environmental portraits?

When I shoot environmental portraits, I usually place my subject off center. However, I've seen instances where the photographer has intentionally centered their subject. Here is an example: ...